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Feeling Hungry? The Solution May Surprise You!

November 16, 2020

Feeling Hungry? The Solution May Surprise You!

Did you ever wonder why we are feeling hungry and how can you control the feeling?

Have you heard of a hormone called Ghrelin? Often referred to as a “hunger hormone,” ghrelin is secreted when the stomach is empty. It signals the brain to increase hunger, to produce more gastric acid, and prepare the body for food. After the food is consumed and the stomach stretches, the secretion stops until it’s empty again.

If we could only control ghrelin production in our body, we wouldn’t feel hungry, and losing weight would be so much easier, right? But how can we do that if the only way of stopping ghrelin secretion seems to be through consuming food? There is a surprising answer to this question – you can control your hunger through fasting!

The good news is that ghrelin levels don’t endlessly grow if you don’t eat. One study measured patients’ ghrelin levels during a 33-hour fast. The pattern happened to be “wavy” with the lowest levels in the first morning, and the highest levels around lunch, dinner, and the following morning. After a couple of hours without food, the levels were decreasing, so if you disregard the feeling of hunger, it will disappear.

Note that the lowest ghrelin levels happened to be in the morning after not eating for at least 12 hours or more. It perfectly links to the popular 16:8 fasting interval – breakfast is the easiest meal to skip for many people.

Another study measured ghrelin levels during a more extended 84-hour fast. Amazingly, the levels gradually decreased with time, and the patients were less hungry by the end of the test than at the beginning. Did you ever notice that you get full fast after eating very little when you don’t eat for a long time? Now you know why!

So, even though it may seem that fasting can make you hungrier, in reality, it can help you control appetite and stay healthier. Remember, fasting may not be a good idea under certain medical conditions. We recommend consulting your health care professional, especially if you plan to fast for longer than 48 hours.

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